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WCC: Lasker-Tarrasch 1908
Compiled by WCC Editing Project
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ORIGINAL: Lasker - Tarrasch World Championship Match (1908)

NEW DRAFT EDIT <Karpova>

Siegbert Tarrasch was born in Breslau, Prussia (now Wrocław, Poland) in 1862. In the late 1880s, he established himself as one of the strongest players in the world with several tournament successes.<1> After Tarrasch's first place in Manchester (1890),<2> the Havana Chess Club proposed a match against world champion Wilhelm Steinitz.<3> A practicing physician, Tarrasch declined as he couldn't devote that much time to chess.<3> Besides his successful chess career, he is also famous for propagating and deepening chess, which earned him the nickname "praeceptor germaniae" (lat. teacher of Germany).<4> In 1906, world champion Emanuel Lasker singled out Tarrasch and Geza Maroczy as worthy contenders for the world championship, and said "Dr. Tarrasch's strength or weakness, if one likes - is his pronounced amour propre (fr. self-love). Without it he would have been a very mediocre chess player; gifted to an abnormal degree, he has become a giant."<5>

Instead of participating in Dresden (1892), won by Tarrasch,<6> Lasker challenged the tournament winner to a match via Leopold Hoffer. <7> Tarrasch declined the offer, since Lasker had avoided a tournament battle with him by not participating in Dresden. Tarrasch was willing to play Lasker, once the latter had won first prize in an international tournament.<8> Two years later, Lasker took the title from Steinitz in the Steinitz - Lasker World Championship Match (1894) match. After his successful comeback at Monte Carlo (1903), Tarrasch challenged Lasker for a world championship match,<5> to take place in autumn 1904. The conditions were published at the end of 1903.<9> An ice-skating accident in January 1904 disabled Tarrasch. He visited Lasker in Berlin in March 1904, suggesting they postpone the match until the next year. But Lasker declined, declaring the contract null and void if the match couldn't take place at the agreed date. Tarrasch would have to issue a new challenge.<10>

Tarrasch's victory in the Marshall - Tarrasch (1905) match induced Rudolf Gebhardt, chairman of the German Chess Federation, to contact the Manhattan Chess Club on November 24, 1905 to negotiate a match for the title. The Club didn't respond, so after five months Gebhardt contacted Lasker directly on April 20, 1906. Lasker agreed to play Tarrasch in principle, but wanted to play in America only, as he believed that a match could be financed nowhere else. Tarrasch said he could only play in Germany, due to his profession.<11>In 1906, Lasker also negotiated for a world championship match with Maróczy, but ultimately without success.<12> When Lasker defended his title in the Lasker - Marshall World Championship Match (1907) by the score (+8 -0 =7), comparisons were made to Tarrasch's previous victory (+8 -1 =8) against the same opponent in 1905,<13> as if the title match had only been a substitute for a match between the two German chessmasters. Later that year, Tarrasch triumphed in Ostend (Championship) (1907), so a match between them again became a pressing matter.<11> A good opportunity for negotiations arose in February 1908, when Lasker visited Europe again for the first time in four years.<11>

The lengthy negotiations were successfully finalized on August 1, 1908.<14> Lasker had originally demanded an honorarium of 15,000 Marks. The chairmen of the German (Gebhardt) and Bavarian (Schenzel) Chess Federations persuaded the world champion to accept a lower honorarium of 7,500 Marks. Tarrasch even agreed to forego an honorarium in order to help bring about the match. The winner would be the first to win eight games, with draws not counting. The victor would receive 4,000 Marks, and the loser 2,500 Marks.<15> <16> The time control was 1 hour for 15 moves.<17> Otto Rosenfeld was the arbiter. Tarrasch's second was Heinrich Renner. Lasker's second in Düsseldorf was Appun, while in Munich Schropp and Kollmann alternated as seconds.<18>

The match began on August 17 in the Kunstpalast in Düsseldorf, where the first 4 games were played. The contract stipulated that the match be relocated to Munich as soon as one competitor had scored three points.<19> Both players were in a separate room, together with their seconds. The numerous spectators followed the match in a large hall. Lasker drew the white pieces by lot, and won game 1. According to Lasker, Tarrasch could have won game 2, had he abstained from pawn grabbing and continued his attack.<20> With Lasker leading 2-0, Tarrasch took two rest days to recover from the losses,<21> and then scored his first win in game 3. Lasker won game 4 on August 31, after refuting Tarrasch's combination by 27...Rxf4.<crawfb5- be sure to use the "Rook" figure for the html> With the score now 3-1 in Lasker's favor, the match now moved to the Rathaus in Munich on September 1. About 1,200 spectators witnessed Lasker's win in game 5. Game 6 ended drawn, although Tarrasch missed a win on move 42. After his win in game 7, Lasker was in the lead by the score of +5 -1 =1. The match became more even now, with draws in games 8 and 9.<20> Tarrasch won game 10, called by Garry Kasparov "probably his best game of the match."<22> Lasker struck back by winning game 11. 1,100 spectators in the afternoon and 1,300 in the evening attended game 12. Tarrasch won, and Lasker's lead was now cut to +6 -3 =3.<20> Lasker took four rest days,<23> and then won game 13.<20> In game 14, Tarrasch tried to convert a better position for three days and 119 moves, but the game was finally drawn. Lasker was held to a draw in game 15. On September 30, Tarrasch blundered a piece in time trouble and immediately resigned. Lasker won the match +8 -3 =5.<20> Several commentators considered Tarrasch to have played below his ability, and that the result did not truly represent his true strength. Most, however, agreed that Lasker's victory was well deserved, and that he had demonstrated his superiority over Tarrasch.<24> <25>

1 Rod Edwards, <Siegbert Tarrasch> http://www.edochess.ca/players/p455...

2 Rod Edwards, <Manchester 1890> http://www.edochess.ca/tournaments/...

3 "New York Sun", 6 October 1890. In Jacques N. Pope, <Chess Archaeology> http://www.chessarch.com/excavation...

4 "Wiener Schachzeitung", February 1934, pp. 49-50. In <ANNO / Österreichische Nationalbibliothek> http://anno.onb.ac.at/cgi-content/a...

5 Emanuel Lasker, "Lasker's Chess Magazine", January 1906, pp. 126-127. In Edward Lasker, ed., "Lasker's Chess Magazine" Vol.III Nov 1905 - April 1908, Olomouc 1998. Translation of Amour propre by karpova. Lasker goes on explaining "His amour propre is such that he must excel at something. Chess was, as it were, the easier medium for him to choose, and he is very fond of chess, therefore, but most particularly of his own chess."

6 Rod Edwards, <Dresden 1892> http://www.edochess.ca/tournaments/...

7 Leopold Hoffer, "The Championship Match: Lasker v. Tarrasch", London 1908, p. 1

8 Siegbert Tarrasch, "Der Schachwettkampf Lasker-Tarrasch um die Weltmeisterschaft im August-September 1908", Jens-Erik Rudolph Verlag, Hamburg 2009. Originally Veit & Comp., Leipzig 1908. Chapter 1, p. 1

9 "Wiener Schachzeitung", December 1903, pp. 291-292. In <ANNO / Österreichische Nationalbibliothek> http://anno.onb.ac.at/cgi-content/a...

10 Tarrasch, chapter 1, p.2

11 Tarrasch, chapter 1, p.3

12 "Brooklyn Daily Eagle" (Brooklyn, New York), 11 September 1906, p. 6. In <Brooklyn Newsstand> http://bklyn.newspapers.com/image/#...

13 "Wiener Schachzeitung", May-July 1907, pp. 163-164. In <ANNO / Österreichische Nationalbibliothek> http://anno.onb.ac.at/cgi-content/a...

14 "Brooklyn Daily Eagle" (Brooklyn, New York), 2 August 1908, p. 45. In <Brooklyn Newsstand> http://bklyn.newspapers.com/image/#...

15 "Wiener Schachzeitung", May-June 1908, pp. 176-177. In <ANNO / Österreichische Nationalbibliothek> http://anno.onb.ac.at/cgi-content/a...

16 "Wiener Schachzeitung", September-October 1908, p. 263. In <ANNO / Österreichische Nationalbibliothek> http://anno.onb.ac.at/cgi-content/a...

17 "Wiener Schachzeitung", September-October 1908, p. 265. In <ANNO / Österreichische Nationalbibliothek> http://anno.onb.ac.at/cgi-content/a...

18 Tarrasch, chapter 1, p.15. Among the tasks of the seconds mentioned were checking the clocks prior to the games. The chessplayer's second had to be contacted at least 1 hour before start of the game, if a rest day was taken (chapter 1, p.14). They were not for analysis of adjourned games, as clause 13 prohibited analysis or replaying of adjourned games in presence of a third person.

19 "Wiener Schachzeitung", July-August 1908, p. 193. In <ANNO / Österreichische Nationalbibliothek> http://anno.onb.ac.at/cgi-content/a...

20 Emanuel Lasker, "Wiener Schachzeitung", Supplementheft 1908, pp. 381-416 (originally from Pester Lloyd 1908). In <ANNO / Österreichische Nationalbibliothek> http://anno.onb.ac.at/cgi-content/a...

21 Tarrasch, chapter 3, p. 30

22 Garry Kasparov, On My Great Predecessors Part I, 2003, Everyman, pp. 167-168.

23 Tarrasch, chapter 13, p. 78. The break lasted 5 days overall, since a Sunday was in between.

24 "Wiener Schachzeitung", September-October 1908, pp. 323-328. In <ANNO / Österreichische Nationalbibliothek> http://anno.onb.ac.at/cgi-content/a... . The "Bohemia" and Karl Behting, in the "Düna-Zeitung", agreed that Tarrasch had played below his strength but acknowledged Lasker's superiority. The "Frankfurter Zeitung" (2 October 1908) was more sympathetic to Tarrasch, noting that the match result was not indicative of his actual strength. Hans Seyboth in the "St. Petersburger Zeitung", Eugene Aleksandrovich Znosko-Borovsky in "Novoe Vremia", and the "New-Yorker Staatszeitung" noted Lasker's superiority.

25 "Wiener Schachzeitung", December 1908, pp. 370-376. In <ANNO / Österreichische Nationalbibliothek> http://anno.onb.ac.at/cgi-content/a... . Max Hofschläger in the "Hamburger Nachrichten" notes that Lasker was the better player, but that Tarrasch had played below his strength.

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Lasker achieved this score after winning the 4th game on August 31. The match continued in the Rathaus in Munich until September 30, when Lasker won the 16th game and the match (+8 -3 =5).<21>

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EDIT Tarrasch's <amour propre>

Lasker:

<"Dr. Tarrasch's strength or weakness, if one likes-- is his pronounced <<<amour propre.>>> Without it he would have been a very mediocre chess player; gifted to an abnormal degree, he has become a giant. His <<<amour propre>>> is such that he must excel at something. Chess was, as it were, the easier medium for him to choose, and he is very fond of chess, therefore, but most particularly of his own chess. He has written two chess books and is writing a third one-- <<<all about himself, his victories, his opinions, his life and evolution.>>> He writes very wittily and entertainingly. But his <<<naive self-adoration>>> often influences his judgment of men and affairs and even chess positions.

There is no game on earth played by anybody but Dr. Tarrasch in which he would not point out a mistake or a faster road to victory or improvement of some kind. In his criticisms his personality must be predominant. This is the one great weakness of the doctor's critical judgment. In his personal life he is, like many Germans of the better classes, always 'correct.' To be 'correct' signifies, in Germany, the attitude of a an whose conduct, in the judgment of his neighbors, is always proper and befitting his station. In order to be 'correct,' one must be guided by the opinion of others; one must be without a moral or ethical code of one's own, and annex that of one's surroundings. In dress, in what he says and does in public, Dr. Tarrasch is always 'correct.'

It is the same in chess. He always tries to find the 'correct' move which if his understanding of it is analyzed, is the move which, in the opinion of the best judges, would satisfy all requirements. As he is very painstaking and earnest in his studies, his strength in chess is exceedingly great. But still one cannot help feeling that it is acquired, not born in him, for he follows the progress of ideas but never heads it.">

-"Lasker's Chess Magazine" (Jan 1906), p.126. In Edward Lasker, ed., "Lasker's Chess Magazine" Vol.III Nov 1905 - April 1908, Olomouc 1998.

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EDIT <Regarding>: "Meanwhile, Lasker negotiated for a world championship match with Maroczy in 1906 without success.(9)"

Two Items of interest:

1. "The Defection of Maroczy" (title of article)

<"After several months of silence, after having failed for four weeks to respond to a cablegram, Maroczy, questioned by a representative of the 'Staatszeitung,' has declared the match with Lasker 'off.' <<<The cause that he assigns for his strange conduct is activity in politics.>>> And according to the report of the Staatszeitung's representative he proposes to make amends by paying a forfeit of five hundred dollars to Lasker or postpone the match for a year, at the latter's option. Mr. Maroczy seems under the impression that the affair is a mere business transaction. But he is mistaken; his honor is involved. It goes without saying that Lasker will not accept Marozy's offer of money. But it is equally clear- and this is a point which the Hungarian seems completely to overlook- that the Americans who had promised liberal support will have no further use of one who has broken his solemnly pledged word without an effort of apology and explanation to any of the parties concerned.>

-"Lasker's Chess Magazine" (July 1906), p.l30. In Edward Lasker, ed., "Lasker's Chess Magazine" Vol.IV May 1006 - Oct 1906, Olomouc 1998

2. <"<<<'The Morning Post,'>>> in commenting on Mr. Maroczy's failure to post his forfeit, says: <<<'Maroczy has no doubt been disappointed by his backers, and the matter may be rectified; but if it is not this additional shock to public confidence will make it increasingly difficult to bring about a championship match, even if a suitable candidate should arise.'>>>

-"Lasker's Chess Magazine" (July 1906), p.l30. In Edward Lasker, ed., "Lasker's Chess Magazine" Vol.IV May 1006 - Oct 1906, Olomouc 1998

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EDIT <Karpova>

<TARRASCH CANNOT PLAY STEINITZ

He Must Stay at Home and Look After His Sick Clients.

In reply to a cablegram o Dr. Tarrasch asking him whether he would accept the invitation of the Havana Chess Club to play a match with Steinitz in Havana the German expert replied as follows:

"Regards for my professional praxis prevent me from devoting myself exclusively to chess and to undertake to stay away from home for so long a time. I therefore regret very sincerely not being able to accept the invitation, which I consider as honorable as it is generous. Allow me to convey my most hearty thanks, all the same. "Tarrasch">

Source: 'New York Sun', October 6, 1890. In Jacques N. Pope http://www.chessarch.com/excavation...

Interestingly, there is also correspondence regarding the Steinitz - Chigorin match (Baron Albert von Rothschild declining the offer of referee, but accepting to be stakeholder) and Steinitz - Gunsberg.

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EDIT <Karpova>

EDIT <Karpova>

According to p. 245 of Kurt Landsberger, "William Steinitz, Chess Champion", McFarland, 1995

The Manhattan Chess Club proposed a title match between Tarrasch and Steinitz (after the Gunsberg match), which Steinitz considered feasible. Tarrasch declined as he had to look after his patients and could devote himself to chess not more than once a year.

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EDIT <Karpova>

placeholder:

and said and said "Dr. Tarrasch had become a giant in chess thanks to his amour propre.(3)" after <whiteshark>, <Domdaniel> and <perfidious>:

Dr. Tarrasch's strength or weakness, if you will, is his pronounced self-love. Without it, he would have become only a a very mediocre chessplayer. But with his particular talent, he grew into a giant.3

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EDIT <JFQ> and <Karpova>

<In the late 1880s, he established himself as one of the strongest chessplayers in the world with several tournament successes (1).>

Change to

From the late 1880s on, he established himself as one of the strongest chessplayers in the world with several notable tournament successes, finishing clear first at Breslau (1889), the 9th DSB Kongress, Leipzig (1894), Vienna (1898), and Monte Carlo (1903).

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KARPOVA TEXT and SOURCES:

< Karpova: <WCC Editing Project> On Game Collection: WCC: Lasker vs Tarrasch 1908

I would replace <At one point, Lasker had challenged him to a match and been curtly brushed off. Because of Tarrasch's earlier snub, the two were not on speaking terms for years, which delayed any chance Tarrasch might have of playing for the title>

with maybe the following:

Already in 1903, Dr. Tarrasch had challenged Dr. Lasker for a WC match 1 to take place in autumn 1904 2 3 and the conditions were published at the end of 1903 4. After Dr. Tarrasch suffered an ice-skating accident, the WC match to take place later that year, was postponed indefinitely.

In 1908, long negotiations headed by the chairmen of the German (Gebhardt) and Bavarian (Schenzel) Chess Federations lead to Dr. Lasker accept a lower honorarium than originally demanded while Dr. Tarrasch even abdicated a remuneration 5 6 to enable the match taking place in Germany...

1 p. 96, 1907 'Wiener Schachzeitung' (or even better if anyone has access, Dr. Lasker's original from 'Lasker's Chess Magazine' 1906 on chessmasters of the past and presence)

2 p. 364, 1904 'Wiener Schachzeitung'

3 <perfidious>' source 'Championship Chess' by P W Sergeant

4 p. 291-292, 1903 'Wiener Schachzeitung'

5 p. 176-177, 1908 'Wiener Schachzeitung' (<The winner got 4,000, the loser 2,500 Mark. Dr. Lasker an additional 7,500 Mark (originally demanded 15,000 Mark) while Dr. Tarrasch abdicated a honorarium, as in the text> - are there additional sources?)

6 p. 263, 1908 'Wiener Schachzeitung'

http://anno.onb.ac.at/cgi-content/a... >

KARPOVA PART TWO

<On a sidenote, Dr. Tarrasch's claim that the sea air at Düsseldorf was partly responsible for his poor showing in the first four games is reprinted from 'Berliner Lokalanzeiger' of 1908.08.26 on page 193 of the 1908 'Wiener Schachzeitung'. In an interview with Dr. Hans Taub ('Münchner Neueste Nachrichten', 1908.09.23 'Bei Dr. Tarrasch'), he claims that a well-known Viennese master (<bekannter Wiener Meister>) agreed to training but then declined at the last moment and so he was not well-established at the beginning of the match (while he says that claim about sea air was not true <Das ist absolut unrichtig>), page 303 of the 1908 'Wiener Schachzeitung' - Max Weiss is discussing this discrepancy on pages 321-323. Interesting is the following: Dr. Lasker wrote in the 'Pester Lloyd' on August 17, 1908 (reprinted on page 381 ff. of the 1908 'Wiener Schachzeitung') that he proposed a match to Dr. Tarrasch 16 years ago (<Bereits vor sechzehn Jahren, ..., trug ich Dr. Tarrasch an, ein Match zu spielen. Damals lehnte er ab.>) but the latter declined, so Dr. Lasker played the revenge match against Steinitz. I guess that Dr. Lasker's match proposal in 1892 and the almost played match in 1904 were thrown together.

Sadly, I did not find anything about the Dr. Tarrasch's Steinitz quote but a reference (which may not lead to the quotation): Gareth Williams, Lasker's Last Stand, Chess Monthly 6 (1), (1996), 44-45. from http://www-history.mcs.st-and.ac.uk...

Dr. Tarrasch did not write articles for the 'Wiener Schachzeitung' and his articles don't appear there. As Dr. Lasker was not WC in 1892, do you think that the match proposal back then should be mentioned? I'm not sure, as it was no title match, it needn't be and as long as we differentiate between the declined match proposal by Dr. Lasker in 1892 and the WC challenge by Dr. Tarrasch in 1903, everything should be fine.>

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BATGIRL on Lasker v Tarrasch: http://www.chess.com/groups/forumvi...>

<"In the meantime the date for the Dresden Congress of the German Chess Association approached, in which Lasker intended to take part. He changed his mind, and did not enter. But during its progress he wrote a letter to me, with the request to ask (privately) the winner of this tournament, presumably Dr. Tarrasch, whether he would be willing to play him a match. I handed his letter over to Dr. Tarrasch, but his reply was unsatisfactory, and I informed Lasker of my abortive mission. This episode has been ventilated in the chess press at the time, and need not be recapitulated here in detail. It will suffice to state that I did not communicate Dr. Tarrasch's reply verbatim. but in a form which I deemed less offensive to Lasker, so as not to prevent a renewal of the challenge. Dr. Tarrasch held afterwards that I had no right to give what I called a diplomatic answer, and <the consequence was a sharp polemic in the Chess Monthly,> which disturbed my friendly relations with Dr. Tarrasch for the time being ; but the matter was finally cleared up during the Hastings Tournament, in which Dr. Tarrasch competed.">

Batgirl SOURCE: <The Championship Match Lasker v. Tarrasch / edited by L. Hoffer. London : E.A. Michell and Frank Hollings, 1908, p.1>

And this topic amplified by <TheFocus>:

<This was earlier related by Lasker himself in <London Chess Fortnightly>, Issue 2, September 1, 1892, pg. 15:

<Some days before the conclusion of the Dresden Tournament, we requested Mr. Hoffer to kindly address a private enquiry to the first prize winner, asking if he would be prepared to play a match with us on English soil for 500 pounds, some time next year. Upon Dr. Tarrasch being declared the winner, he was approached by Mr. Hoffer, but gave as a reply that the duties of his calling prevented him from giving the matter any consideration. Some of the leading German papers and also the <German Chess Journal> stated, however, by way of reply, that he would reconsider the matter as soon as we had been awarded the first prize at an International Tournament. from this it would appear that Dr. Tarrasch does not consider us good enough yet to be able to compete with him. Whether he is right or wrong in this case we leave to others to judge. in any case, we must confess that we hardly expected a public reply to our private enquiry.>>

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<And this EDIT info from <perfidious>, which still <<<REQUIRES SOURCING>>>:>

<Sergeant corroborated this much later as follows:

It appears that Lasker had intended to enter for the Dresden Tournamet this year; but for some reason he changed his mind. While it was in progress he wrote to Hoffer, who was in Dresden, as to the chances of a match with the winner of it, which Tarrasch already seemed likely to be. Hoffer approached Tarrasch, whose reply, he asserts, was so unsatisfactory that he did not communicate it verbatim to Lasker. At this date Tarrasch clearly saw no comparison between their records.>

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In 1908, Tarrasch challenged Emanuel Lasker for the World Chess Championship. Lasker accepted, but was convinced that Tarrasch had hypnotic powers and therefore requested he play the match from a different room. The match took place in Germany between August 17 and September 20, 1908. It was considered by many to be the most exciting chess match in history up to that date.

An attempted reconciliation before the match came to nothing, when Tarrasch refused to shake hands, made a stiff little bow, and said:

"To you, Herr Lasker, I have only three words to say: Check and mate!"1

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<<CHECK AND MATE> Provenance: the earliest account of this anecdote found so far is here (1952):>

<"The one unpleasant aspect of the great match of 1908 was the fact that the two contenders did not happen to be on speaking terms. Tarrasch was not a very conciliatory man, and his animosity against his great adversary had been embittered by the lengthy negotiations due to Lasker's insistence on holding out for his financial terms. At the beginning of the match mutual friends among the members of the organising committee hoped to bring about a reconciliation of the two masters or at least their readiness to observe the conventional social civilities in the course of the match.

Lasker was quite willing, and it was arranged from him to wait in a private room while the kindly committee member went to fetch Dr Tarrasch. But the Doctor only came as far as the door. There he made a stiff little bow and exclaimed: 'To you, Herr Lasker, I have only three words to say: <<<Check and Mate!'>>> He made another bow and turned on his heels. Lasker merely shrugged his shoulders. As for Tarrasch, he was not to have many opportunities of speaking the three ominous words.>

SOURCE: <Dr. J. Hannak
Emanuel Lasker - The Life of a Chess Master
Dover, 1991
p.130

This was originally published in German in 1952.

The English translation was published in 1959 by Andre Deutsch in London and Simon & Schuster in New York.

The Dover 1991 edition says it is an exact copy of the 1959 English translation>

ORIGINAL SOURCE (from Edward Winter- Chess Note 5707 ): <How far back can the ‘Schach und Matt’ story be traced? It appeared on page 118 of Emanuel Lasker Biographie eines Schachweltmeisters by J. Hannak (Berlin-Frohnau, 1952): http://www.chesshistory.com/winter/...>

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Siegbert Tarrasch was born in Breslau, Prussia (now Wrocław, Poland) in 1862. In the late 1880s, he established himself as one of the strongest chessplayers in the world with several tournament successes. (1) After Tarrasch's first place in Manchester (1890),(2) the Havana Chess Club proposed a match against world champion <Wilhelm Steinitz>.(3) Tarrasch declined as he couldn't devote that much time to chess, being a practicing physician.(3) Besides his successful chess career, he is also famous for propagating and deepening chess, which earned him the nickname "praeceptor germaniae" (lat. teacher of Germany).(4) In 1906, world champion <Emanuel Lasker> singled out Tarrasch and <Geza Maroczy> as worthy contenders for the world championship, and said "Dr. Tarrasch's strength or weakness, if you will, is his pronounced self-love. Without it, he would have become only a very mediocre chessplayer. But with his particular talent, he grew into a giant."(5)

Before he won the title from Steinitz, Lasker had already approached Tarrasch for a match in 1892. Tarrasch declined, leaving Lasker with the impression that he didn't consider him good enough yet.(6) In 1903, Tarrasch challenged Lasker for a world championship match (5) to take place in autumn 1904.(7) The conditions were published at the end of 1903.(8) After Tarrasch suffered an ice-skating accident, the match was postponed indefinitely.(7)

Meanwhile, Lasker negotiated for a world championship match with Maroczy in 1906 without success.(9) When Lasker defended his title in the <Lasker – Marshall world championship match (1907)> by the score (+8 -0 =7), comparisons were drawn to Tarrasch's previous victory (+8 -1 =8) against the same opponent in 1905,(10) as if the title match had only been a substitute for a match between the two German chessmasters.

Finally, the long-anticipated match was brought about after lengthy negotiations in 1908. The chairmen of the German (Gebhardt) and Bavarian (Schenzel) Chess Federations persuaded Lasker to accept a lower honorarium of 7,500 Mark (instead of originally demanded 15,000 Mark), while Tarrasch even agreed to forego an honorarium. The winner was the first to win eight games with draws not counting and received 4,000 Mark, while the loser got 2,500 Marks.(11) (12) The time control was 1 h for 15 moves.(13)

The match began on August 17 in the Kunstpalast in Düsseldorf where the first 4 games were played. The contract stipulated that the match be relocated to Munich as soon as one competitor had scored three points.(14) As Lasker achieved this score after winning the 4th game on August 31, the match continued in the Rathaus in Munich until September 30, when Lasker won the 16th game and the match (+8 -3 =5).(15) Several commentators considered Tarrasch to have played below his ability and the result not to be representative of his true strength, yet Lasker's victory was regarded to be deserved as he had demonstrated his superiority.(16) (17)

(1) Rod Edwards, http://www.edochess.ca/players/p455...

(2) Rod Edwards, http://www.edochess.ca/tournaments/...

(3) "New York Sun", October 6, 1890. In Jacques N. Pope http://www.chessarch.com/excavation...

(4) Wiener Schachzeitung, February 1934, pp. 49-50

(5) Wiener Schachzeitung, March-April 1907, pp. 95-96 (originally from Lasker's Chess Magazine 1906)

(6) Emanuel Lasker, London Chess Fortnightly, Issue 2, September 1, 1892, p. 15

(7) Wiener Schachzeitung, December 1904, p. 364

(8) Wiener Schachzeitung, December 1903, pp. 291-292

(9) Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 1/8/1905, page 13.

(10) Wiener Schachzeitung, May-July 1907, pp. 163-164

(11) Wiener Schachzeitung, May-June 1908, pp. 176-177

(12) Wiener Schachzeitung, September-October 1908, p. 263

(13) Wiener Schachzeitung, September-October 1908, p. 265

(14) Wiener Schachzeitung, July-August 1908, p. 193

(15) Emanuel Lasker, Wiener Schachzeitung, Supplementheft 1908, pp. 381-416 (originally from Pester Lloyd 1908)

(16) Wiener Schachzeitung, September-October 1908, pp. 323-328

(17) Wiener Schachzeitung, December 1908, pp. 370-376

Lasker vs Tarrasch, 1908 
(C68) Ruy Lopez, Exchange, 55 moves, 1-0

Tarrasch vs Lasker, 1908 
(C66) Ruy Lopez, 41 moves, 0-1

Lasker vs Tarrasch, 1908 
(C98) Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin, 44 moves, 0-1

3 games

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